On the frozen funding expected to help families pay their utility bills, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) released the following statement today:
“Everyone in New Jersey knows the impact the NJ Shares program makes on our communities. The NJ Shares S.M.A.R.T program provides a critical service to residents having financial difficulties for any number of reasons and cannot qualify for other government assistance programs.
“Through grants to social service agencies located throughout the state, their aid helps New Jersey moms and dads keep the lights on, the telephone connected and to heat their homes in the dead of winter.
“$1 million may not be a grand amount compared to other programs who have become a victim under the Governor’s funding freeze. But for the work that NJ Shares performs for hundreds of families in this state, we know every dollar counts. We know how much it matters to the people whose side they take every time their grant money goes to help someone.
“Again, whose side are we on? We’re on their side. We’re on the side of the families who rely on programs like NJ Shares to be there for them and provide support during hard financial times. We’re on the side of New Jersey’s children that should never have to go to bed hungry because the energy bill wasn’t paid. We’re on the side of those who know firsthand about how unforeseen circumstances and unexpected life changes can cause financial hardship. We should be giving them a hand not tying up their funds in a political game of tug o’ war.
“They should be given what was allotted to them in our budget now, not later. That’s why it was in the budget. That’s why the budget was signed and this, along with other critical funding to programs, was approved. It’s clear whose side we are on.”